In the realm of featherweight carbon-soled shoes, Fizik has designed quite a pretty slipper. The Infinito X1 is a stiff kick, with a unidirectional carbon outsole to efficiently transfer power from your foot to the pedal. The shoe’s overall look and fit is clean and close cut, with no excess material to add weight or unnecessary bulk. It’s an XC race shoe throughout.
The double Boa closure system is clean and precise, allowing riders to dial in their exact fit. The fishing line actuated system has the added benefit of being easily adjustable while pedaling, and the large knobs work well with gloved hands. For folks who regularly find themselves with numb fingers, these knobs will be a welcome feature. To release your foot from the shoe, simply pull outward on the top knob while loosening the lace. Taking these shoes on and off is swift and painless.
I expected the upper Microtex material to be hot, as it feels quite durable and almost rigid at first. The upper consists of minimal material layers to reduce pressure points and increase breathability. Perforations along either side keep the shoe plenty ventilated, and the sides softened up after a few rides. Compared to other lightweight kicks I have worn, the Infinito X1 have nailed a difficult balance point between durability and breathability. I expect them to last through several seasons.
- Price: €350 / $400
- Actual weight: 389g each, with Shimano Cleats installed.
- Sizes: 36-48
- Colors: Black (pictured), grey/yellow, grey/red
- Double Boa closure
- Buy: from Jenson USA
- Compare Prices: Fizik X1 Infinito
In terms of fit, these shoes are tops. The Boa system cinches down around my narrow feet with precise adjustability, and there are no painful spots from material folds or overlaps. The heel cup holds my foot in place, even while walking, though that is certainly not what these shoes were designed for. With traction-cleats placed only where they are necessary for a spirited scramble in the soil, these shoes feel fairly slippery on hardpacked dirt and stones.
The unidirectional carbon sole is appropriately stiff, preventing your foot from getting hot spots at the pedal interface just as well as it transfers power. The downside to the sole’s minimalistic cleat design is that you always need to clip in accurately. The shoe’s midsole is wicked slippery, and if you miss the cleat while trying to clip in you won’t be able to place your midfoot on the pedal and wait for a better time to make contact. This is a flaw in most cross country race shoes, and fortunately, riders will stay clipped in throughout the duration of most modern XC events.
The toe box includes an added abrasion-resistant layer to keep them looking good, and after sliding these through a few rock gardens I can say that the resistance works. Unlike a lot of gloss-coated shoe materials, the Infinito X1 matte finish still looks great after a fair amount of abuse.
The Fizik Infinito X1 shoes are a solid choice for XC or gravel racing, or simply riding hard and shaving weight. They fill every expectation that I have for an XC-oriented race shoe: a comfortable fit, light weight, good breathability, stiff under pressure, and good looks. While they are not inexpensive, they are on par with a lot of top-shelf carbon-soled kicks on the market, and they are undoubtedly built to last.
Thanks to Fizik for sending these stiff slipper for review.